South Africa

OPINION: Billiat’s move back to Zimbabwe makes no sense

Khama Billiat Kaizer Chiefs OPINION

Khama Billiat’s shocking return to his native Zimbabwe has got to be one of the most bizarre transfer stories of all time. Not many expected his time in South African football to end in such a puzzling manner.

I fail to understand why the talented midfielder showed Kaizer Chiefs the middle finger and left at the beginning of the season without a solid plan for his future

According to Amakhosi, they tabled a new offer for him when all the players reported back for pre-season last June, but the former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder disappeared without trace.

That left the Chiefs management with an egg on their face after the club’s social media admin posted a picture of Billiat in the gym wearing the new Kappa apparel, as players were taken through their paces ahead of the new season.

At that stage nothing was signed, however, and the club released a statement to avoid an embarrassment in an event Billiat popped up elsewhere. Upon realising that the speedy attacker had dribbled them, Chiefs had no choice but to alert everyone that he was nowhere to be found.

It’s an open secret that the Naturena-based outfit offered the 33-year-old a new deal with a significantly reduced salary. Word on the street was that he was not happy with the club lowering his package. To demonstrate his displeasure, Billiat was not seen again at the Chiefs village beyond June 29.

Bidding war

After being in the football wilderness for nearly eight months, the former PSL Footballer of the Season flew back to his home country this week. He was initially close to joining powerhouse Dynamos FC but a bidding war amongst top-flight clubs in Zimbabwe ensued.

Yadah FC have won the race for his signature after dangling a reported signing on fee of $15000 USD (R287 199). According to reports in Zimbabwe, Billiat will earn a monthly salary of $5000 which translates to over R95 000 in today’s exchange rate. To an average South African, that’s a lot of money but it doesn’t come close to what Chiefs offered him.

I have it on good authority that Billiat was going to earn way more than that had he stayed at Chiefs and continued to play in the PSL. One wonders whether or not the veteran attacker was not sold dreams of a better package elsewhere, only to learn the hard way that not many clubs have pockets as deep as Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Having spent the majority of his career in the PSL, surely Billiat should have known better. The fact that he struggled to find a club locally is a clear indication of bad judgment on his part.

There are no doubts over Billiat’s ability on the field of play but moving back to Zimbabwe for such a relatively small figure makes no financial sense. If he was looking for one last big payday before retiring, he should have remained a Glamour Boy.